10 songs that inspired social change

08 July 2014

Throughout the years, many celebrities and musicians have banded together to write and record songs that raise awareness for particular situations and causes, and through the power of song have had the ability to rally the general public into uniting and fighting for what’s right.

Below are our top 10 songs that inspire you to be better and do better:

1. We Are The World – USA Supergroup

Written in 1985 by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, this song was created to bring attention to the African famine relief and was recorded by the supergroup ‘USA for Africa’ which consisted of many celebrities including Bob Dylan, Bob Geldof, Hall & Oates, Michael, Randy, Tito, Marlon, Jackie and La Toya Jackson, Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen and many more. The song went on to sell over 20 million copies.

2. Where Is The Love – The Black Eyed Peas

Performed by The Black Eyed Peas, ‘Where Is The Love?’ is a song that touches on various worldwide problems including that of terrorism, racism, pollution and war. The song urges the listener to find compassion for their fellow human beings and spread love.

3. You’re The Voice-  John Farnham

Perhaps one of the most iconic songs in Australian music history, ‘You’re The Voice’ is a track that has stood the test of time. Evoking not only patriotism, this song gives the listener a sense of pride and power, and a feeling that they can change the world and achieve anything if they are strong enough to let their voice be heard.

4. Heal the World – Michael Jackson

Released in 1991, Michael Jackson wrote this song to highlight the suffering of children living in third world countries, especially Burundi. The song also became the inspiration for his “Heal the World Foundation” which is an organization designed to improve the lives of children with children being the ones to teach and help others.

5. One – U2

Inspired by tension in the band, “One” ultimately became a track that was crafted to shed light on the reunification of Germany. Germany became whole once East Germany (Germany Democratic Republic) and West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) formed to reunite the nation of Germany itself. The track has been hailed as the best U2 song ever, and the benefits from “One” also went to towards AIDS research.

6. Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer

Politics is the main theme of this song, with John alluding to hope for the future and his yearning for the order of the world to change once his generation ascends to power. An ‘anti-war’ anthem, as some have dubbed it, allows the listener to have faith that things will get better.

7. Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson

“Man in the Mirror” is a reflective song by Michael Jackson about wanting to change the world but first by changing yourself.

8. We Are All Made of Stars – Moby

Written after the September 11 attacks, this song expresses a sense of hopefulness to all. “On a basic quantum level, all the matter in the universe is essentially made up of stardust” says writer Moby.

9. Earth Song – Michael Jackson

A song that highlights the importance of looking after the environment and animal welfare, the ‘Earth Song’ reminds us that we are not the only living things on this planet and that we need to love and nurture the nature of the world around us. Michael was awarded the Genesis Award for animal sensitivity for this powerful track.

10. Peace in our Time – Cliff Richard

“Peace In Our Time” serves as a song that reminds all that if we want peace, we have to strive on making the world a better place as one.

BONUS! Imagine – John Lennon

What would any list about music that hopes to change the way you think for the better be without this classic by John Lennon.

World Vision’s 40 Hour Famine allows you to raise money by giving up food or something else that really matters to you for 40 hours, join the ranks of these celebrities inspiring you to help others less fortunate than you and sign up here.


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